Mousse Magazine Extra Publishing Agency Reviews John Divola's "As Far as I Could Get"

"John Divola 'John Divola: As Far as I Could Get' at Santa Barbara Museum of Art / Pomona College Museum of Art / Los Angeles County Museum of Art" in Mousse Magazine

With a career comprising four decades, John Divola is as distinctive for his commitment to the photographic community as for his thought-provoking work. Divola’s influence within the field of photography is widely recognized by curators, critics, scholars and photographers throughout the country; yet, his work has remained largely uncelebrated. Many of his former students have achieved illustrious careers and far more recognition, even as Divola continues to mentor and inspire both undergraduate and graduate students in contemporary art practice.

“As Far As I Could Get” is the first over-arching presentation of Divola’s work and is a collaborative project led by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA), shown simultaneously at SBMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Pomona College Museum of Art (PCMA) in the fall of 2013. Though Divola’s photographic series are diverse in subject matter, this approach as one exhibition among three Southern California venues emphasizes the consistent conceptual and performative threads that run through Divola’s entire body of work.

Divola was born in Los Angeles in 1949. After graduating with a BA from California State University, Northridge, he entered the MFA program at the University of California Los Angeles. There, under the tutelage of Robert Heineken, the artist began to develop his own unique photographic practice, one that merges photography, painting, and conceptual art. In addition to his own studiopractice, he teaches contemporary art in the underserved California inland empire and writes on current photographic practice for a national audience.

John Divola’s photographs range widely but the intellectual rigor from which they spring is unvarying. Whether testing the visual limits of photography by vandalizing abandoned houses, interrogating the iconography of the divine through paint, flour, and film, or emphasizing the distance between image and reality through the blurred figure of a running dog, Divola’s work is simultaneously fun and philosophical, visually appealing as well as intellectually stimulating.